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Yale University’s graduating class of just over 300 men in 1820 included John Parke Custis Peter, a son of founders Martha and Thomas Peter and a great-grandson of Martha Washington. His Yale affiliation may explain (or may have resulted from) his parents’ interest in the writings of 18th-century Federalist, theologian, and education reformer Timothy Dwight, Yale’s president from 1795 to 1817. The Tudor Place Archive includes three volumes of Dwight’s collection of sermons, Theology Explained and Defended, inscribed by either Martha or Thomas Peter.
These were on display during a May 2014 tour by Executive Director Leslie Buhler for supporters of the Yale Center for Historical Enquiry and the Social Sciences, followed by a dinner in the Dower House.